Bear Lake could store additional water if operations changed

Published 12-22-20

Can more water be stored in Bear Lake by adjusting flood control operations? Idaho, Utah and PacifiCorp worked with reservoir modeling experts at the University of Colorado to answer this question. The technical report “Impacts on Bear Lake Storage under Alternative High-Runoff Management Operations” published today, summarizes findings about how different flood control operations can raise lake levels and increase storage.

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Latest water use numbers posted to revamped Open Water Data website

Published 12-21-20

The state’s latest water use numbers have been published by the Utah Division of Water Resources and can be found on the recently overhauled and upgraded Open Water Data website. 

The latest municipal and industrial (M&I) numbers are from 2019 and show that statewide per capita water use for potable and secondary water is 223 gallons per capita per day (GPCD).  In 2018, the total GPCD was 241 (2017 – 244 and 2016 – 245). M&I includes residential, commercial, institutional (for example, schools and parks), and industrial water use.

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Great Salt Lake image

Conservation critical to meet Utah’s water needs

Published 10-22-20

Conservation is critical to meet the water needs of Utah’s growing population and is a factor that can significantly postpone water development projects. 

“We’ve seen how implementing water conservation strategies can delay large-scale infrastructure projects,” said Todd Adams, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources. “When the Legislature passed the Bear River Development Act in 1991, the projected need for the water was in 2015. Thanks primarily to conservation efforts, new technology and some smaller water development projects, current projections indicate the water won’t be needed until 2045 to 2050.” 

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Extension requested on Lake Powell Pipeline timeline

Published 09-24-20

The Utah Division of Water Resources and Washington County Water Conservancy District have requested an extended timeline from the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to consider comments received on the Lake Powell Pipeline’s draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from the public, tribes, non-government organizations and fellow Colorado River Basin states.

“The Lake Powell Pipeline is a critical water infrastructure project for Utah,” said Todd Adams, director, Utah Division of Water Resources. “The extension will allow more time to consider the comments and complete further analysis, which will contribute to a more comprehensive draft and final EIS.”

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Changes Coming to Smart Controller Rebate

Changes coming to smart irrigation controller rebate program

Published 09-15-20

Changes are coming to the Utah Division of Water Resources’ smart irrigation controller rebate program. The current program rebates 50% of the cost (up to $150) when you purchase an eligible WaterSense labeled smart controller. The program is transitioning to a fixed rebate of up to $75 beginning Nov. 1.

“Smart controller costs have come down since the program’s inception in 2018. Now you can get a great controller starting as low as $59,” said Marcie Larson, the division’s manager over water conservation and public information. “Currently the average rebate is about $66, so the new fixed-rate program that gives consumers up to $75 is a great deal and also allows more rebates to be awarded. The current rebate works well for those who want to purchase a more expensive controller.” 

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Image of Lake Powell at Twillight

Response to Basin States’ Lake Powell Pipeline letter

Published 09-09-20

The Sept. 8 conclusion of the public comment period for the Lake Powell Pipeline draft Environmental Impact Statement is another significant project milestone. We’re pleased to know the other Colorado River Basin States are committed to working toward solutions in good faith. 

Comments from the other basin states were expected and are part of a comprehensive process. There are numerous water projects in the West that have worked through unresolved issues while under federal review. As basin states, we have a history of solving complex challenges, and we will do so now. 

The State of Utah remains committed to working with the other basin states to mitigate their concerns raised by our intent to use a portion of Utah’s Colorado River allocation to provide water to Washington County. We will work diligently to address their concerns over the coming months. 

The current NEPA process is the culmination of 20 years of study and planning. The project would use 5% of Utah’s Colorado River compact allocation and is critical to meeting the needs of southern Utah by enhancing the reliability of Washington County’s water system. Without the project, the economic viability and water security of one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States will be harmed.  – Utah Division of Water Resources Director Todd Adams

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Director Todd Adams

Director of Utah Division of Water Resources Appointed

Published 12-17-19

Todd D. Adams has been appointed to head the Utah Division of Water Resources. Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Brian Steed selected Adams to replace Eric Millis who retired after nearly 32 years with the division, six of those as the director. 

Adams started his career with the division in 1990 after graduating from Utah State University with both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in civil engineering. He has served as the division’s deputy director since 2013. Before being promoted to deputy director, he was the assistant director since 2006.  (more…)